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Improving Homeland Security Decisions by Detlof von Winterfeldt, Milind Tambe, Ali E. Abbas

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6 A Risk and Economic Analysis of Dirty Bomb Attacks on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Heather Rosoff and Detlof von Winterfeldt

6.1 Introduction

6.1.1 The Dirty Bomb Threat

Since the events on September 11, 2001, the prospect of a terrorist attack using a radiological dispersal device (dirty bomb) is cited as among one the most serious terrorist threats (Blair, 2002). Several recently reported incidents confirm the concerns of security officials. In June 2002, the United States arrested Jose Padilla for his involvement with Al Qaeda in planning a dirty bomb attack on the United States (Johnson & Locy, 2002), and in January 2003, British officials found documents in the Afghan city of Herat indicating Al Qaeda successfully built a small ...

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